Justin Timberlake: All Grown Up

Above: Justin Timberlake on the 2013 Grammy Awards red carpet (Image credit: PR Photos)
Above: Justin Timberlake on the 2013 Grammy Awards red carpet (Image credit: PR Photos)

Justin Timberlake has reached his “Frank Sinatra” stage.

His latest album, The 20/20 Experience, which opened with first-week sales of 968,000 copies, is a clear “I’m doing this my way” album. The songs are unconventionally long, and not the “built for mainstream radio” offerings that many of today’s biggest artists seem to turn out on the regular.

This is “JT and The Tennessee Kids” making music that moves them, and music that they enjoy performing, and you’re welcome to take it or leave it; he really doesn’t seem to care either way.

It’s a non-showy show of confidence for Timberlake, who has navigated the waters from boy band teen idol to solo pop star to being one of the best all-around entertainers working today.

He’s gone from ‘N Sync, bubble gum pop, and teen heartthrob status to being a five-time host of Saturday Night Live, doing a week-long residency as Jimmy Fallon’s Ed McMahon, and a fixture on the list of guys other guys would most like to spend a weekend hanging out with.

It’s okay; you’re allowed to admit it. Don’t worry: we want to hang out with Justin too.

What’s really impressive is that he’s made the transition from being your kid sister’s crush to the charming, funny, can’t-help-but-like-him-even-if-you-really-don’t-want-to-like-him dude you see today without every really getting to that point where people were like, “Enough with the Timberlake already.”

Some people definitely said it, but it wasn’t the consensus.

Save for a few guest spots here and there, he stopped making music after FutureSex/LoveSounds brought sexy back. (YEAH!) He also stopped making as many regrettable decisions in his acting career too. Even though there is no escaping Bad Teacher, he earned solid reviews for his portrayal of Sean Parker in The Social Network and – be honest – was pretty good opposite Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits.

Again: it’s okay to admit you’ve watched it… multiple times; we have too.

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E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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